Out with the old and in with the new — the District of Invermere (DOI) has recently replaced an aging member of its maintenance fleet.
A new Ford pickup truck will be active in Invermere year-round, after a 1980s Chevy pickup was costing the district more to maintain than the vehicle was worth, said DOI mayor Gerry Taft.
Dubbed by Mayor Taft as the “flower truck,” the old vehicle was often be spotted near public flower beds, with district employees hydrating the vegetation. The new truck will serve the same purpose – and a few extra.
The Chevy was a one-ton flatbed that was used only in the summer months. Because the new truck is compatible with snowplow attachments, it will be able to take service into the winter and, in suitable situations, will prevent funding the use of a heavy duty snowplow.
“It’s a more usable vehicle than the old truck,” Mayor Taft said.
The new vehicle arrived in early April, and the cost of about $90,000 came out of one of the district’s reserve funds. That reserve fund accumulates money each time the public vehicles are utilized, said Mayor Taft.
“We charge ourselves usage of the vehicle,” he said. “The concept is that over a period of time, there will be enough money to replace the vehicles without billing the district through regular taxation.”
In addition to the snowplow attachment, the new Ford has a dump box, more seating, and an automatic transmission.
“The replacement vehicle is multi-purpose – a full dumptruck or snowplow won’t need to be pulled out for medium-sized job.”
The old vehicle was donated to the Columbia Valley Rockies, who will be putting the truck to use through their firewood service. Mayor Taft said that repairing the Chevy was becoming evermore expensive – particularly the clutch – and was only in use a few times each summer.